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Stretching Day 19

DYNAMIC WARMUP

1. Plank w/ Shoulder Tap

  1. Start in a straight-arm plank (push-up position), with your wrists under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Tighten your core, ground your toes on 
the floor, and squeeze your glute muscles 
to stabilize your body and keep it in one straight line from the top of your head 
down to your heels.
  3. Slowly and in a controlled manner, lift your right hand, tap your left shoulder, and then return to the plank position.
  4. Then, tap your right shoulder with your
left hand and continue alternating sides.
  5. Tap each shoulder 10-15 times for a total 
of 20-30 repetitions.

2. Side Plank w/ Twist

  1. Position yourself in a side plank, 
left shoulder over left elbow and 
body in a strong, straight line.
  2. Reach the fingertips of your right hand 
toward the ceiling.
  3. Engage your core and turn your torso forward. Bring your right hand down and position it between your torso and the floor, as though you were trying to twist and reach the rest 
of the room behind you.
  4. Slowly rotate back to starting position. 
Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.

3. Good Morning

  1. With feet hip-width apart, stand upright, knees slightly bent, and place your hands at the back of your head, elbows opened wide.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles by pulling them into your spine.
  3. Keeping your spine neutral and pressing 
your rear backward, bend forward at the 
hips and continue doing so until your back 
is nearly parallel to the floor.
  4. Slowly return to standing, engaging your 
core and squeezing your glutes at the top 
of the movement.
  5. Perform the movement 15-20 times.

 

 

UPPER BODY STRETCHES

1. Levator Scap Neck Stretch

Starting position: Stand with your feet 
hip-width apart and arms down by your sides, 
or sit in a chair with your back straight.

  1. Put your right hand on the back of your head with your fingertips reaching the base of your skull. Fingertips should be facing down 
your spine.
  2. Bring your chin to your chest and turn the 
back of your head towards your right armpit.
  3. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, and then relax.
  4. Repeat the same stretch on the left side for 
15 seconds.

 

2. Side Neck Tilt

Starting position: Stand with your feet 
hip-width apart and arms down by your sides, 
or sit in a chair with your back straight.

  1. Gently tilt your head toward your right shoulder and try to touch it with your ear, while stretching to point the other ear to 
the ceiling.
  2. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, then return to the start position.
  3. Perform the same stretch on your left side. Hold for 15 seconds.

 

3. Forward & Backward Neck Tilt

Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms down by your sides, or sit in a chair with your back straight up.

  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width 
apart and arms down by your sides.
  2. Gently reach your chin directly forward in front of you as far as you can, as if you were trying to touch the wall in front of you with your chin.
  3. Hold the stretch for 3-5 seconds, then return 
to the starting position.
  4. Pull your chin inward, as if you were trying 
to pull it into your spine. Hold for 3-5 seconds, and return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat both stretches in succession for 
30 seconds.

 

4. Child's Pose

Starting position: Get into a tabletop position, 
with your hands directly under your shoulders 
and your knees in line with your hips.

  1. Push your butt back towards your feet as far 
as possible.
  2. Stretch your arms out on the floor in front of you until you feel like your spine is elongating.
  3. Reach forward with your fingers to further elongate the spine, to the extent that it feels good and comfortable.
  4. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds and deepen 
the stretch when you feel it is possible by further elongating your spine.

 


5. Cat-Cow

Starting position: Get into tabletop position on the floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. The neck should begin neutrally, looking at the floor in front of you.

  1. As you lift your head, push your chest forward towards the floor, allow your belly to sink, 
pull your shoulder blades back, and your 
butt/tailbone up towards the ceiling. (Cow)
  2. Hold this pose for a few moments.
  3. Then, try to do the exact opposite and round your spine while releasing your head towards the floor, pulling your tailbone/butt towards the ground, and pulling your pubic bone forward. (Cat)
  4. Perform both movements in succession 
for 30 seconds, holding each pose for 
a few moments.

    6. Elbow Opener

    Starting position: Stand comfortably with your arms by your side.

    1. Place your hands clasped together behind 
your head.
    2. Pull your elbows apart as wide as comfortably possible, as if you were trying to touch 
your elbows together behind your back.
    3. Hold for 30 seconds.

     

    7. Doorway Pectoral Stretch

    Starting position: Stand in an open doorway.

    1. Raise each arm up to the side, bent at a 
90-degree angle, with palms facing forward. Rest your palms on the door frame.
    2. Slowly step forward with one foot and you’ll feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest.
    3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever possible.

     

    8. Locust Pose

    Starting position: Lie flat with your face and belly towards the ground and your arms lying comfortably beside your body.

    1. Lift your chest, arms and your legs as much as possible to form a sort of boat shape, curving the inner part of your back towards the ground and the outer parts of your body and spine towards the ceiling.
    2. Hold for 30 seconds.

     

     

    LOWER BODY STRETCHES

    1. Frog Pose

    Starting position: Lie facedown, bend your 
knees about 90 degrees, and spread them 
as wide as you can.

    1. Fold your hands under your forehead 
to relax the upper half of the body.
    2. Keeping your knees bent, sink your hips towards the floor.
    3. Hold for 60 seconds, and deepen the stretch by sinking your hips more towards the floor whenever possible.

    2. Butterfly

    Starting position: Sit on the ground and place 
the soles of your feet together in front of you. 
Let your knees bend out and fall to the ground 
as much as gravity allows them to.

    1. Place your hands on your feet and pull your heels towards you.
    2. Keep your back straight and your abs 
engaged as you let your knees relax and 
inch closer to the floor. You’ll feel the 
stretch in your groin muscles.
    3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.

    3. Reverse Tabletop

    Starting position: Sit on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands about shoulder-width apart as close to your shoulders as possible, with fingers facing away from your face.

    1. Flatten your fleet on the ground, and lift your whole body off the ground using your palms and feet glutes, and back muscles.
    2. Try to reach your hips towards the ceiling as high as you can, as you relax your head and neck and look up towards the ceiling.
    3. Hold for 30 seconds.

     

    4. Knee to Chest Stretch

    Starting position: Lie on your back with your whole body relaxed on the floor and your legs outstretched. Make sure your whole back is touching the floor.

    1. Bring one knee towards your chest and 
grab your knee with both hands to pull.
    2. Pull until you feel the stretch in the top 
of your butt and lower back.
    3. Hold for 15 seconds, gently let go and relax.
    4. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
    5. Relax and perform the same stretch on 
the other leg.

     

    5. Wig-Wag

    Starting position: Lie on your back, with your knees bent on the floor and your arms to the side.

    1. Pull your right leg towards your chest and twist your body to the left, trying to touch your right knee to the floor on the left side of your body.
    2. Use your left arm to pull your leg and deepen the stretch to the extent it feels good and comfortable.
    3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever possible.
    4. Return to the starting position, and then perform the same stretch on the other side.

     

    6. Downward Dog

    Starting position: Begin on all fours, with your knees hip-width apart and your hands directly below your shoulders.

    1. Press back into your heels to straighten your knees and raise your butt up to the ceiling until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings. If you need to, extend your arms forward so that you can straighten your legs a bit more.
    2. Keep your head, neck, and spine aligned as you press back into the feeling of the stretch in the back of your legs and calves.
    3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.

     

    7. Seated Forward Fold Hamstring Stretch

    Starting position: Sit down on the floor and straighten both legs in front of you while 
sitting upright.

    1. With both arms, reach towards your feet as far as you can while only bending the upper body at the waist and keeping your spine straight.
    2. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.

     

    8. Standing Quad Stretch

    Starting position: Stand with your whole 
body relaxed.

    1. While balancing on your left foot, grab the bottom of your right shin, where it meets 
your foot, by bending your leg behind you.
    2. Tuck your pelvis in, and pull your shin 
toward your butt (glutes), making sure your knee is pointing to the ground, or as close to the ground as possible.
    3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
    4. Relax and perform the same stretch on 
the other leg.

     

    9. Hanging Calf Stretch

    Starting position: Stand on the balls of your feet at the edge of a stair or step. If you don’t have a stair or step, you can place a few towels on top of each other to simulate one.

    1. While keeping your legs straight, allow gravity to pull your heels down towards the floor.
    2. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

     

    10. Standing Wall Calf Stretch w/ Achilles Focus

    Starting position: Stand directly in front of a wall, about 6 inches to 1 foot away from it.

    1. Put your hands on the wall and slightly bend your knees.
    2. Place the left foot a tiny bit back from your right foot, and flex your left foot so that it’s on the left toes.
    3. Bend your right knee so that it inches closer to the wall so you feel a stretch in the bottom of your right calf, where the Achilles tendon is. Bend as far forward as possible while keeping the right heel on the ground.
    4. Hold for 15 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
    5. Relax and perform the same stretch on the other leg.